When was the last time you enrolled on a course or program to enhance your qualifications?

In a world run by new media and technology, we can’t afford to stop learning after college. Today’s job trends require us to stay abreast of the latest and innovative skillsets, to ensure we are not left behind by our peers. Of course, investing in education all over again has its own constraints – time, cost and opportunity. Specialised courses and professional training can be expensive, with the average cost of further education ranging between £6,000 to £9,000 per annum. To add to that, if you are a home based business owner, you are likely to be hard-pressed for time to invest in such a program, amidst your busy schedule. Plus, if you work from home or remotely, you might not get the opportunity to attend corporate training sessions or cross-group interactions that are common in most organisations. So how can you manage your work schedule, and still upgrade your qualifications?

As specialists in work-from-home opportunities, we, at Arise, understand the time pressures of running your own business but also how important it is for work from home professionals like you to enhance your skills.

So, how can home based business owners enhance their skillset?

Here are 5 low cost and convenient options to advance your educational qualifications without investing an exorbitant amount of time or money.

Online courses

Online training programs have revolutionised the way we educate ourselves. Tools like Coursera, Udemy, com and similar others, provide hundreds of professional courses for as little as £10. These sites also have free courses, specific to your specialisation. The smart modules allow you to study at your own pace, supported by video tutorials and one-on-one interaction with mentors, so you get individual attention. Most of these courses are designed to be completed in a few hours, so they won’t affect your work deadlines.

Online tutorials

It’s surprising how much you can learn from video sharing platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Lynda and more. These platforms are loaded with subject-based video tutorials, presentations and animated infographics that help you easily learn and understand any topic relevant to your field of work. And did we say that these are absolutely free? So, now you can add YouTube to your ‘favourite’ list not only for movies and daily soaps but also for your education too.

Industry workshops

Corporate training firms regularly organise interactive workshops and sessions across the country which are usually day-long. You can enrol yourself on any training session that is relevant to your area of work (and does not cost a lot) and that you think can help you perform better. Workshops are also a great opportunity for peer-group learning. Most of these workshops happen on weekends so you can maintain your daily work schedule. However, if they do run during the week, you can always let your boss or team know in advance, so you can take some time off if required. Everyone appreciates self-learning and developing your skills. So, next time there’s a workshop in town, sign up right away.

Corporate Seminars/conferences

These provide a great opportunity to learn in an open forum and from industry leaders. You will often come across industry specific conferences and seminars happening around your city. Most of them are by invitation only, however, some seminars do have on-the-spot registrations. You can also search for such events online and sign up via their websites in advance.

Interest Groups

Remember those days in school and college when you and your classmates would gather together somewhere and study jointly? This idea is still applicable to your adult self. Learning becomes better with exchange of knowledge, sharing of information and ideas, and when you have people to correct you for your mistakes. This kind of two-way learning is made easier when you join industry specific interest groups- design, art, marketing, digital media, software tools, and so on. Such groups meet up periodically (once or twice a week) and share their expertise and experience. There is hardly any cost involved and you get an opportunity to meet professionals from different organisations with varied experience.

We often tend to lose touch with education once we leave college. But one can never stop learning and one never should. Opt for the benefits offered by technology to boost your learning curve and stay ahead of your game.

Posted in: Independent Business Owners

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